Lord Of The Flies By William Golding In Wiliiam Golding’s book The Lord of the Flies, two running themes are innocence and the loss of it and the fear of the unknown. Another way to describe the fear of the unknown could be man ultimately reverting back to an evil and primitive nature. The cycle of man’s rise to power and his inevitable fall from grace is an important point that book proves again and again. Lord Of The Flies symbolizes this fall in different manners, ranging from the illustration of the mentality of actual primitive man to the reflections of a corrupt seaman in purgatory. The novel is the story of a group of boys of different backgrounds who are marooned on an unknown island when their plane crashes. As the boys try to organize and formulate a plan to get rescued, they begin to separate and as a result of the dissension a band of savage tribal hunters is formed.
Eventually the stranded boys almost entirely shake off civilized behavior. When the confusion finally leads to a manhunt for Ralph, it shows that the boys have backpedaled and shown the underlying savage side existent in all humans, despite the strong sense of British character and civility that has been instilled in the youth throughout their lives. The novel shows the reader how easy it is to revert back to the evil nature inherent in man. If a group of well-conditioned school boys can ultimately wind up committing various extreme travesties, one can imagine what adults, leaders of society, are capable of doing under the pressures of trying to maintain world relations. In the novel, Simon is a peaceful lad who tries to show the boys that there is no monster on the island except the fears that the boys have. Simon tries to state the truth that there is a beast, but “it’s only us” (Golding 11).
When he makes this revelation, he doesn’t know what to really make of it. Later in the story, the savage hunters are chasing a pig. Once they kill the pig, they put its head on a stick and Simon experiences an epiphany in which he understands more about the beast. After Simon discovers what the boys think the beast is he rushes to the campfire to tell the boys of his discovery. As Simon comes to the campfire he is hit in the side with a spear, his prophecy rejected and the word he wished to spread ignored.
Simon falls to the ground dead and is described as beautiful and pure. Simon faced his loss of innocence abruptly when he was stabbed repeatedly. His loss of innocence is a big realization for some of the other boys an the loss of thier innocence. William Golding discusses man’s capacity for fear and cowardice. In the novel, the boys on the island first encounter a natural fear of being stranded on an uncharted island without the counsel of adults.
Once the boys begin to organize and begin to feel more adult-like themselves, the fear of monsters takes over. It is understandable that boys ranging in ages from toddlers to young teenagers would have fears of monsters, especially when it is taken into consideration that the children are stranded on the island. The author wishes to show, however, that fear is an emotion that is instinctive and active in humans from the very beginnings of their lives. This revelation uncovers another weakness in man, supporting the idea or belief that man is savage at the very core of his existence. As the boys fear the unknown more more, a savage side prevails over thier better.
An example would be toward the end of the book when Jack sacrifices everyones chance for survival on the island to try and kill Ralph. The author uses these instincts to prove the point that any type of uncontrolled fear contributes to man’s instability and will ultimately lead to his demise spiritually and perhaps even physically. Man grows more savage at heart as he evolves because of his cowardice and his quest for power. The novel proves this by throwing together opposing forces into a situation that dowses them with power struggles and frightening situations. By comparing mankind in general to Biblical characters in similar scenarios, the novel provides images of the darker side of man.
This darker side of man’s nature inevitably wins and man is proven to be a pathetic race that refuses to accept responsibility for its shortcomings.